Blow for Queensland pride

QUEENSLAND’s claim to being the premier bowls State was given a body blow when none of its players won a title in any category at their own $40,000 Queensland Open.

South Australia’s Ashley Close, 23, took out the men’s singles championship; a Tasmanian, Bec Quail, beat NSW star Natasha van Eldik to take the women’s singles; van Eldik brought a couple home to NSW with wins in the pairs and triples; Victoria’s Todd Simmons, after just missing out on the singles, skipped his 15-year-old stepson and Lee Schraner to the men’s triples title; but the biggest shock of all, a couple of bush bowlers from Victoria, Mark Robertson and Brad Holland, knocked over Queensland’s Commonwealth Games gold medallists and No1 seeds Mark Casey and Kelvin Kerkow before going on to win the pairs championship.

Wasn’t a good tourney for the Bananabenders.

STRAIGHT-shooting former district and zone president Wilf Clark is the new State councillor to the RNSWBA. He replaces Alan Meares, who resigned due to ill health.

For the past six years, Clark has been the Zone One president, relinquishing the role only this year – ‘after six years it was time to give someone else a go’.

NRDBA deputy president from 1993-1996, president for the next two years, a district selector for many years, he was made a life member of the association in 2000. He has been a long-time NRDBA Travelling Bowlers’ president.

“Wilf Clark’s wide experience and known attributes will stand him in good stead at State administration level,” comments district scribe John Forshaw.

Vale Bob Ellis

ONE of this region’s most dedicated bowls administrators, Bob Ellis, 62, died last week after a long fight against illness.

Life member of the NRDBA and its president for three years, Bob started in the game at his father Bill’s club, East Lismore (his father died only this year), and was the club’s youthful president in the 1980s. He moved to Casino and there became the president of the now-defunct Casino club, then for five years was president of Casino RSM, a position he held at his death.

Earlier this year, Casino RSM paid tribute to his work and long association by naming its new artificial surface, the Robert Barclay Ellis Green.

The large number of bowlers at his funeral on Thursday was further testimony to the appreciation of his long service to the game.

DISTRICT officials aren’t too happy about attendances at their junior trials.

Only six showed up for last Sunday’s trial at East Lismore (none reported to be from the home club), and six at the previous trial.

The officials say players must attend these trials to be considered for district selection.

DAVID BALL, fresh from major successes in zone play, had to bow down to defeat in the Casino RSM’s A-grade triples championship final.

Ball had a strong team – Doug Moa and Gary Burt – but they weren’t good enough. Mark McAllister, John Scrase and Brenden Frame knocked them over by a definite 22-15.

My View

MAN made it to the moon ages ago, yet we’re still identifying our bowls with the stick-on plastic/paper rings we’ve plastered on them in big games since the year dot.

Bowlers, before they play, sit around like kids at a playbox trying to stick the blasted things on.

If they don’t have plenty of patience, and the skill of a dedicated paperhanger, the ends of the rings don’t meet and the plastic is scrunched into a corrugated mess.

Let’s say you’ve kept at it and somehow managed to get them attached not too badly. Don’t think your problems are over – these stick-on horrors are responsible for more wrong biases than staying too long at the clubhouse bar.

Years ago, I played in an inter-zone pennant final in which one of our side put down five wrong-biases before ripping the stickers off and saying he didn’t care if he was disqualified.

Fortunately, the stickers were plastic and they came off before we left for home. He was lucky they weren’t made of paper (some cheapskate clubs still provide these). If you try to remove paper stickers, set yourself a long scraping job.

Give it your best effort, but for a long time you’ll be using bowls plastered with left-over scraps of stuck-on paper.

Some blokes don’t try to take the stickers off their bowls. This is either because the job is too much, or to skite to everyone that they’ve been in the big time.

A local bowler rang the other day and said he saw pennant rings left on in a club championship.

He wanted to know if this was legal.

Our crystal-unclear rules say all bowls in a set must be matching. So I suppose stickers aren’t frowned on if they’re on the whole set.

Just the same, isn’t it time some inventive soul came up with a better means of identifying bowls than this infantile method?

WOODBURN had the type of weather for its carnival that must have had the ‘Mexicans’ regretting their winter sojourn in the area is coming to an end. Twenty-four teams played in the men’s triples on Saturday; 22 teams in Sunday’s mixed fours.

COMING EVENTS – This weekend: Casino RSM, Friday, mixed pairs; Saturday, men’s triples; Sunday, men’s pairs. September 12: Lismore Sports’ Legacy Day. September 12-13: Urbenville carnival.

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